jamie goode's wine blog: Pinot Noir: DRC and Australia

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pinot Noir: DRC and Australia

Lots of tasting today. I began at Corney & Barrow for the new release 2006 DRC tasting. It's such a treat to be able to taste these wines each year. They're absolute benchmarks of Burgundy at its very finest.

I had a chat with Aubert de Villaine, who is a total star: he's polite, thoughtful and patient, and is one of those rare people who is a winemaking legend, yet when you interview them they don't make you feel they are doing you a huge favour. I asked him about the 2006 vintage.

'The wines show that one cannot speak of great vintages or small vintages any more', says Aubert. 'Take the last 10 years: each has had its own character. 2006 was more difficult, certainly, than 2005, but, finally, with a small yield and a lot of care at sorting you have a maturity - both phenolic and sugar - that is at the same level as 2005. The difference is in the style of the wines'.

Aubert says that being organic is very important, and has had an effect on the quality of the wines. The domaine has been organic for 25 years, and part biodynamic for a while. With the 2008 vintage it is fully biodynamic. Yet Aubert thinks the big quality gain is switching to organics from conventional farming, not the move from organics to biodynamics.

The wines were really, really good, especially for 2006, and a write-up will appear tomorrow.

Then it was off to the Australia day tasting at the Emirates Stadium. It was a really good tasting, and a special feature was five themed rooms with 20 wines each, chosen by a particular Aussie journalist. Aromatic whites, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, blends and odd varieties, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon made up the selections, and this worked really well.

My favourite wines of the tasting were the super-elegant Pinot Noirs of Mac Forbes. They ROCK!

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At 11:36 PM, Blogger Andrew Graham said...

Mac Forbes is doign good things in the Yarra - even out of the challenging 07 Yarra vintage he produced good wines.

At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apropos not the Yarra Valley, still less DRC to which a simple country dweller will never aspire- may I share my thoughts on a bottle of Coyam 03 (Colchuga Valley) which you noted 4.06. so now 2yrs on- from the Wine Soc. and reasonably cellered.This was fantastic- a wiff too much oak on opening then- after an hour- lovely integrated sweet powerful fruit and developed richness- still a long life ahead and super value for the £8.50 I paid for it then.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger burgundy wines said...

Burgundy wine (French: Bourgogne or Vin de Bourgogne) is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France.[1] The most famous wines produced here - those commonly referred to as Burgundies - are red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes or white wines made from Chardonnay grapes. Red and white wines are also made from other grape varieties, such as Gamay and Aligoté respectively. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are also produced in the region. Chardonnay-dominated Chablis and Gamay-dominated Beaujolais are formally part of Burgundy wine region, but wines from those subregions are usually referred to by their own names rather than as "Burgundy wines".

Burgundy has a higher number of Appellation d'origine contrôlées (AOCs) than any other French region, and is often seen as the most terroir-conscious of the French wine regions. The various Burgundy AOCs are classified from carefully delineated Grand Cru vineyards down to more non-specific regional appellations. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy go back to Medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry. The appellations of Burgundy (not including Chablis).

Overview in the middle, the southern part to the left, and the northern part to the right. The Burgundy region runs from Auxerre in the north down to Mâcon in the south, or down to Lyon if the Beaujolais area is included as part of Burgundy. Chablis, a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, is produced in the area around Auxerre. Other smaller appellations near to Chablis include Irancy, which produces red wines and Saint-Bris, which produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc. Some way south of Chablis is the Côte d'Or, where Burgundy's most famous and most expensive wines originate, and where all Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy (except for Chablis Grand Cru) are situated. The Côte d'Or itself is split into two parts: the Côte de Nuits which starts just south of Dijon and runs till Corgoloin, a few kilometers south of the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges, and the Côte de Beaune which starts at Ladoix and ends at Dezize-les-Maranges. The wine-growing part of this area in the heart of Burgundy is just 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, and in most places less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The area is made up of tiny villages surrounded by a combination of flat and sloped vineyards on the eastern side of a hilly region, providing some rain and weather shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. T

he best wines - from "Grand Cru" vineyards - of this region are usually grown from the middle and higher part of the slopes, where the vineyards have the most exposure to sunshine and the best drainage, while the "Premier Cru" come from a little less favourably exposed slopes. The relatively ordinary "Village" wines are produced from the flat territory nearer the villages. The Côte de Nuits contains 24 out of the 25 red Grand Cru appellations in Burgundy, while all of the region's white Grand Crus are located in the Côte de Beaune. This is explained by the presence of different soils, which favour Pinot Noir and Chardonnay respectively. Further south is the Côte Chalonnaise, where again a mix of mostly red and white wines are produced, although the appellations found here such as Mercurey, Rully and Givry are less well known than their counterparts in the Côte d'Or. Below the Côte Chalonnaise is the Mâconnais region, known for producing large quantities of easy-drinking and more affordable white wine. Further south again is the Beaujolais region, famous for fruity red wines made from Gamay. Burgundy experiences a continental climate characterized by very cold winters and hot summers. The weather is very unpredictable with rains, hail, and frost all possible around harvest time. Because of this climate, there is a lot of variation between vintages from Burgundy. You can find more info at: http://www.burgundywinevarieties.com/


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